As a Tree Beside the Water (Strength in Hymn)

“As a Tree Beside the Water”
Alfred Ackley, 1906

As a tree beside the water,
Has the Savior planted me;
All my fruit shall be in season,
I shall live eternally.

I shall not be moved,
I shall not be moved,
Anchored to the Rock of Ages,
I shall not be moved.

Though the tempest rage around me,
Through the storm my Lord I see,
Pointing upward to that haven,
Where my loved ones wait for me.

When by grief my heart is broken,
And the sunshine steals away,
Then His grace, in mercy given,
Changes darkness into day.

When at last I stand before Him,
Oh, what joy it will afford,
Just to see the sinner ransomed,
And behold my sovereign Lord.

I shall not be moved,
I shall not be moved,
Anchored to the Rock of Ages,
I shall not be moved.


“Blessed is the man 
who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree 
 planted by the waters,
which spreads out its roots by the river,
and will not fear when heat comes;
but its leaf will be green,
and will not be anxious
in the year of drought,
nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV
Historical note: Hymnist Alfred Ackley was a pastor who wrote 1,500 songs (religious and secular) in the early 1900’s.  He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1914 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the same year my grandmother Dorothy Ransom Hess was born just near there.  She was a church organist for many decades, so I’ll bet she played many of his hymns throughout the years.   Now 98 and a bit senile, she played “Love Lifted Me” in her nursing home for me last year.  See “Love Lifted Me” and a Few More Memories of MarylandI’m looking forward to seeing her again in two weeks, even though she probably won’t remember who I am!   Grandma has been through a lot of storms in life and always seems to come out on top with a smile on her face.

Grandma and Mom
Right now, I would like to request prayer for her daughter, my mother Mary, who is recovering from back surgery.  She is still in a lot of pain, and still in the hospital many days after she was expected to be released.  My mother is someone who always nurtures others and helps them through their storms, so I’m hoping she will find physical healing and comfort really soon.

This post is the fourth in my Strength in Hymn series, which combines hymn texts, nature photography, and encouragement for those who wrestle with the implications of faith in God.  The other posts so far are:

Related hymns by Rev. Ackley include “What Would We Do Without the Clouds” and “My Mother.”  You can also here the tune for “As a Tree Beside the Water.”
Photographic note: The photos in this post were taken not at a real lake, but at a humongous puddle covering one end of the grassy parking area / soccer field at a local church where we were members for many years.  This happens every time there is a heavy rain, and we affectionately call it “Lake Metro.”  My daughter and I waded in it the other day during Tropical Storm Andrea, and it was over a foot deep. The green below the ripples in the third photograph is grass.  These cypress trees are IN the water, not just beside it!  They are getting a great drink, courtesy of the storm!  If you like the photos in this post, you may also like Beside the Still Watersmy photographic rendition of Psalm 23.

Virginia Knowles
  • Still Saturday
  • The Sunday Community


    About virginiaknowles

    I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
    This entry was posted in Grace,, Nature Photography, Strength in Hymn. Bookmark the permalink.

    9 Responses to As a Tree Beside the Water (Strength in Hymn)

    1. jviola79 says:

      Loved the words to this old hymn. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing this today. I visited from The Sunday Community 🙂

    2. I really enjoy your post on the hymns! Praying for your Mother that recovery will be swift…really enjoyed your pictures this morning.
      Blessings to you!

    3. Amen, Virginia. We shall NOT be moved!


    4. Elizabeth says:

      Beautiful photos and a wonderful hymn.
      Praying for your mother.

    5. I love your post on hymns! So many churches have quit singing hymns! Such a sad thing, they are so beautiful! I am a new from southern charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back! Nicole

    6. Mary Reed says:

      These pictures beautifully depict God's faithfulness and the importance of being deeply rooted in the Giver of Life! Praying for your sweet mom, right now!
      Thanks for sharing!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

    7. Judith says:

      Your pictures are always so beautiful and inviting. I loved the hymn but don't know how it goes.

      Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home.

    8. Ceil says:

      It would be my honor to pray for your mother. I know with your tender love and care she will do well!

      Peace in Christ,

    9. Kasey Norton says:

      Virginia, I love the old hymns and your pictures really add an element of beauty to them. Thank you so much!

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